Jan. 14, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- If there was a key word for Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchezfollowing Saturday's heartbreaking 52-50 Mountain West loss to Wyoming, it was "disappointed."
Her Lobos got up by Wyoming by as many as 10 points in the second half, but stumbled down the home stretch allowing Wyoming to leave The Pit with the two-point win.
"I'm disappointed in the way we played down the stretch," said Sanchez. "I'm disappointed in the way we didn't box out the entire game. It's disappointing to lose this way."
The Lobos controlled the first half and the first five minutes of the second half before a Wyoming surge and Cowgirl Chaundra Sewell caught the Lobos back on their heels.
"We lost momentum and they were more aggressive toward the end and we didn't finish," said UNM's Porche Torrance."
The Wyoming win in front of a Pit crowd of 7,454 put a damper on a great individual effort by Lobo Caroline Durbin, who scored a career-high 29 points going 12-of-23 from the field.
"Caroline has a career night, but nobody helped her on the offensive end," said Sanchez. "She got no help. That's tough. It's a game we could have won.
"It's disappointing that we give Chaundra Sewell 26 points. We played dead behind her, which we're not supposed to do. We didn't box her out and then we fouled her.
"She was just a tougher post player today. She outmanned and outplayed all our post players. That was disappointing, too."
Sewell made two huge plays down the stretch. She scored a layup at 1:31 to put Wyoming up 48-47 and the Cowgirl was fouled on the shot by UNM's Torrance. Swell made the extra shot and Wyoming had a 49-47 lead.
Durbin scored on a drive for the Lobos at the other end and the scored was knotted at 49-all. Wyoming went inside again to Sewell, who scored and again converted a 3-point play after being fouled by Jayme Jackson. Wyoming was up 52-49.
"She was being aggressive and she made her shots," Torrance said of Sewell.
Durbin hit a single free throw to pull the Lobos to 52-50. Wyoming didn't score on its end and UNM had seven seconds to get off a shot. Jackson drove the length of the court, but her buzzer-beater got blocked by Sewell and Wyoming (5-10, 1-1) escaped with the win.
"I told Jayme that it takes a lot of guts to take that shot," said Sanchez. "Anybody can take the shot when the score is tied or you're up by one point, but when you're down by two and it's for the game--it does take a lot of guts to take a shot.
"She took it and got blocked. It was good defense on their part."
Durbin finished the game as the only Lobo in double figures with her 29 points, complemented by four rebounds.
"I felt like almost anything I shot up there was going to go in," said Durbin. "I just had a hot hand. (My teammates) did a great job screening for me."
Torrance was the next highest UNM scorer with six points and also chipped in with 10 rebounds. Emily Start had four points in 12 minutes going 2-of-3 from the floor with two blocked shots. "Emily played well for us," said Sanchez.
As a team, the Lobos went from a 48 percent shooting effort in the first half and dropped to 26.7 percent in the second half for an accuracy of 36.4 on the game.
With Sewell's tenacity in the paint, Wyoming logged 32 points down low to New Mexico's 20, and out-rebounded the Lobos 48 to 34. Wyoming shot 23.5 percent in the first half and soared to 46.4 percent in the second half for a 33.9 percent on the game. Wyoming went 0-of-10 from the 3-point line in the first half and 2-of-6 in the second half as the Cowgirls tried to go inside more."
New Mexico will hit the road again for a bout with San Diego State this Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. Mountain Time.
Second Half: Wyoming 32, New Mexico 22
The second half featured another casual start by both teams but saw Wyoming gaining a huge edge as time wound down. Both teams scored just five points apiece over the first four and a half minutes of the half, but a Cowgirl run tied the contest 38-all with 10:19 to play. Sewell made back-to-back layups inside to end a 7-0 Wyoming run that turned the score from 38-31 to 38-38. UNM's biggest lead in the second half was 33-23 with 17:32 to play.
Wyoming's Chaundra Sewell dominated the post, scoring 14 of her 26 points in the second half, including the team's final six points. Sewell also battled for 13 rebounds on the game.
With 9:41 to play and the game still tied at 38, the Cowgirls put the Mountain West's top free-throw shooter, Lobo Lauren Taylor. But the clutch shooter went 1-for-2 to give New Mexico a slim 39-38 lead.
Durbin added to her highlight reel though, as two of the junior's 12 second-half points worked to give her a career high of 26 points and open the lead to 41-38 under the nine-minute mark. Durbin would add three more points to finish the game with a new career high of 29 points.
A dogfight ensued as both sides traded baskets, with the Lobos never leading by more than three and the Cowgirls cutting the score to a one-point difference five times before going in for the kill.
Wyoming's win was formed by Sewell's two 3-point plays down final 1:31 of play.
First Half: Lobos 28, Cowgirls 20
Wyoming took an immediate 2-0 lead in the first half which New Mexico tied under a minute into the game, but both teams struggled to break the stalemate after that. By the time the Lobos took their first lead of the game, over five minutes had run off the clock and the two teams combined for just five points with the Lobos leading, 3-2.
After taking the lead with 14:45 left on the clock, New Mexico played better through the first half. The team proceeded to put together a 13-3 run over the next seven and a half minutes to climb to its largest lead of the half, 16-5 with just over seven minutes to play.
The run came off the hot hands of Caroline Durbin, who accounted for nine of those 13 and 17 of New Mexico's 28 first-half points. Durbin shot 7-for-11 from the floor in the first half, including the team's lone three-ball.
Wyoming didn't succumb easily though, clawing its way back to within six points three times over the remainder of the half before New Mexico took a 28-20 lead into the locker room.